Wakeman Town Farm Transfers To Town Today

The lease has been signed.  The transition is complete.

Today, the Town of Westport takes over Wakeman Town Farm from GVI.

Mike and Carrie Aitkenhead — the couple whose contract as “town farmers” was not renewed, leading to a townwide controversy and the resignation of 5 Green Village Initiative board members — have agreed to volunteer at the farm.

“They will be a very visible presence,” promises Elizabeth Beller, who heads the transition team.

The "GVI" sign may come down, now that the town has taken over operation of Wakeman Farm.

The transition group plans to continue the farm’s popular programs.  Mike’s Staples High School horticulture class will work at the farm; Staples’ Club Green, and the middle school environmental clubs, will also work there after school.

The full transition team will be appointed by first selectman Gordon Joseloff.  Former GVI members will be included.

Already, team members have met with the Board of finance a member of the Friends of Parks and Rec to discuss the umbrella organization that will help the Town Farm retain its not-for-profit status.

Additional meetings are scheduled for early next month.  That will pave the way for a $20,000 fundraiser.

“The Board of Finance naturally has questions about funding and capital expenditures,” Elizabeth says.  “The town wants assurances that the farm won’t cost them anything.  Right now, things look very good, and very positive.”

(A training session, for anyone interested in volunteering at the Wakeman Town Farm, is set for next Sunday, August 28 (9:30 a.m.).  Mike Aitkenhead will lead the session.  For more information, email elizbeller@gmail.com)

4 responses to “Wakeman Town Farm Transfers To Town Today

  1. It wonderful to hear that the Aitkenheads will still be part of the farm. They’ve been sorely missed. I’m hopeful that this means we may be able to continue to have the CSA and RSA pick ups at Wakeman in the future.

  2. It seems that 06880’s coverage led to major changes and positive results.

  3. The Dude Abides

    Mike must be a helleva guy. Gets kicked in the ass, booted from his home and still in there, smiling with his hands in the dirt. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

  4. Christy Colasurdo

    Wakeman Farm Wants You!

    Volunteer Training Session This Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

    If you’re a fan of the Wakeman Town Farm and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, why not consider joining a grassroots volunteer effort to keep the farm humming along during its transition? Mike and Carrie Aitkenhead have agreed to join the volunteer effort, as have many Wakeman Town Farm fans. Now, you can, too!

    Join Mike Aitkenhead and Elizabeth Beller, a Westport resident and sustainable backyard farming advocate leading the transition team, as they host a short volunteer training session for the general public at Wakeman Farm on Sunday, August 28 at 9:30 a.m.

    Don’t have any experience on a farm? Never fear. Everyone can help weed garden beds, water plants, feed chickens. It doesn’t take long, but it’s a great opportunity to meet Westporters interested in passing Westport’s proud farming tradition down to a new generation. For your efforts, you may be rewarded with a few fresh eggs, a fragrant bunch of basil and a bevy of new friends!